5.9.11

NO more TURKISH imperialism and despotising

 

 

 

1. The Parameters of Greek-Turkish Relations

 

1. Cyprus

 

Greek-Turkish relations are always overshadowed by the political issue of Cyprus. Solving this problem (Turkeys occupation of part of an E.U. member-states territory, the stationing of Turkish troops on the island and the continuing influx of Turkish settlers in violation of international legality and EU principles), would help to improve the climate between the two countries. (See page A2 Directorate).

 

2. Points of Friction

 

Ever since 1973, Turkey has contested the sovereign rights of Greece and sought revision of the legal status of the Aegean.  More specifically, besides the issue of the delimitation of theContinental Shelf, which is the only legal difference between the two countries, Turkey also contests Greek air space, her right to extend her territorial waters, Greek jurisdiction over the Athens FIR, and Greeces sovereignty over a number of islands, islets and atolls in the Eastern Aegean, invoking the theory of grey zones. Finally, Turkey is also seeking the general demilitarisation of the islands of the Eastern Aegean.

 

3. Relations within NATO

 

Turkeys attitude towards our country within NATO is also determined by her challenge to the status of the Aegean.

Taking advantage of the Alliances framework and rules, Turkey has raised claims and obstacles related to:  

  • The command and control of aeronautical operations in the Aegean,
  • NATOs defence planning in connection with the status of the islands of the Eastern Aegean (chiefly Limnos),
  • Greek air space and failure to submit flight plans during NATO air excercises over theAegean within the Athens FIR.

4. Greek-Turkish Rapprochement Turkeys Accession Course Prospects

 

Greece is convinced that Greek-Turkish rapprochement on issues of soft policy and Turkeys adaption to the community acquis as she moves towards Europe will contribute to improving bilateral relations.  Within this reasoning, Greece is seeking to broaden existing cooperation by signing bilateral agreements, and  supported the Brussels European Council (December 2004) setting a date for the start of accession negotiations with Turkey, as well as the prospect of Turkeys full accession to the EU, on the understanding of course that all terms and conditions should previously have been met.

 

 

2. Points of Friction

 

The constant point of reference in Greek foreign policy is international legality and the examination or settlement of any issues in accordance with the provisions of international law. Greeces position has always been that the status of the Aegean is clearly determined by international law and relevant international Agreements, and that there is no room for negotiation.  Within this framework the only issue yet to be resolved is that of the delimitation of the Continental Shelf in the Aegean.

 

Turkey, however, has challenged the status of the Aegean and of the Greek islands overall, and disputes Greek sovereignty and jurisdiction within the Athens FIR.

 

More specifically, Turkey contests:

           

 

a)      The right of Greek islands to a continental shelf (see text), despite the fact that this is specifically provided for in international law.

b)      Greek sovereignty over islands and atolls, expounding the novel theory of grey zones (see text). Turkey takes a revisionist view of the International Agreements that determine the status of the Aegean, maintaining that only those islands and islets of the Aegean that are specifically named in the Agreements belong to Greek territory (deliberately ignoring the fact that the provisions of the relevant treaties clearly regulate the issue of sovereignty).

c)       The extent of Greek air space (see text), which her fighter planes violate on a daily basis, whilst at the same time refusing to submit flight plans for her military aircraft within the Athens FIR, in contravention of respective ICAO rules on the safety of international air travel.

d)      Greeces right under the International Law of the Sea (Conventional and Customary law), to extend her territorial waters (see text) to 12 nautical miles.  This goes hand in hand with Turkeys declaration of a casus belli should Greece ever exercise this legal right.

e)      The military status of the islands of the Eastern Aegean (see text).

 

The Greek response to these challenges is to steadfastly evoke International Law.

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